Necessity is the mother of invention, but more often than not, it’s motherhood that spurs many women today toward invention and entrepreneurship.
Such was the case for Swetha M. Batambuze. Batambuze wanted to find multicultural baby products that brought together both her and her husband’s heritage—Indian and Ugandan respectively—but regularly came up short.
“When I shopped around for products, I just didn’t find anything that inspired me!” she explains. “So I figured, why not learn to sew with a group of moms and put my spin on the products using ethnic materials?”
And thus, Double Dribble Bibs and Blankies was born. The products are made in the United Kingdom and sold in the United States through her sister-in-law Jacqueline Lara’s site The ArtFullness Project. Using fabrics sourced from trips to India and Uganda, Batambuze creates baby bibs and wraps that are far more interesting than your typical terrycloth bib.
“Baby bibs are an often neglected item and viewed more as a necessity versus an accessory,” she says. “Double Dribble can serve double duty: They can be used during feeding, for warmth or as a simple accessory to an outfit, taking your baby from infancy well into their toddler years.”
Batambuze tells mater mea the story behind Double Dribble, and how she made a multicultural baby product she could believe in.
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When did you start your company?
Our company KampInd was created at the beginning of this year with the birth of our first child in 2014 as my inspiration. My husband’s family is from Kampala, Uganda and I was born in India. The company name celebrates the mixing of our cultures to create these unique and limited-edition products.
Why did you start your company?
Like every new mother, I spent the early days of motherhood investigating the best strollers, cots, organic towels, shampoos, and clothing. I wanted our baby to have the best products that made her feel and look good.
I found in the winter months [that] my daughter would catch a cough easily with any draft—UK is famous for this—so [I] felt the need for a warmer garment and scarf. We also found the selection on the high street and Internet to be of low quality, lacking culture, and uninspiring.
I am part of a mother-baby group [of] six families, and the mothers encouraged me to make unique gifts and clothing items for our babies. We spent afternoons sewing together, and with the help of a few other mothers, I learnt how to get the bandana bibs and blankies just right—from this gap in the marketplace the Double Dribble line was born.
How do you make your product?
We have an eye for blending elements of African and Indian-inspired textiles with a modern take on baby accessories. Each item is individual and can be made as a custom order. I use 100% cotton fabrics, bought either from my hometown, Guntur, India, Kampala, Uganda or within the UK. I source fabrics from Mangalgiri, a special town near my home that is famous for special block-printed cotton fabrics, and handwoven cotton. I use organic cottons, bamboo filling, towelling, jersey, and fleece materials to make these unique bibs and blankies. [The] spring/summer wear selections [are] lighter with jersey backing [and the] winter wear options [have] fleece backing [with] bamboo or towelling filling.